Lessons Learned Handbook:
If our customers are satisfied
If our processes are in control
If and where improvements are necessary
A performance measure is composed of a number and a unit of measure. The
number gives us a magnitude (how much) and the unit gives the number a meaning
(what). Performance measures are always tied to a goal or an objective (the target).
Performance measures can be represented by single dimensional units like hours,
meters, dollars, number of reports, or number of errors. They can show the variation
in a process or deviation from design specifications. Single dimensional units of
measure usually represent very basic and fundamental measures of a process or
More often, multi-dimensional units of measure are used. These are performance
measures expressed as ratios of two or more fundamental units. These are units like
miles per gallon, number of accidents per million hours worked, or number of on-time
vendor deliveries per total number of vendor deliveries. Performance measures
expressed this way almost always convey more information than the single
dimensional or single unit performance measures. Essentially, performance measures
should be expressed in units of measure that are the most meaningful to those who
must use or make decisions based on those measures.
Most performance measures can be grouped into one of the following six general
categories. However, certain organizations may develop their own categories as
appropriate depending on the organization's mission:
1. Effectiveness: A process characteristic indicating the degree to which the
process output (work product) conforms to requirements. (Are we doing the
2. Efficiency: A process characteristic indicating the degree to which the process
produces the required output at minimum resource cost. (Are we doing things
3. Quality: The degree to which a product or service meets customer
requirements and expectations.
4. Timeliness: Measures whether a unit of work was done on time. Criteria must
be established to define what constitutes timeliness for a given unit of work.
The criterion is usually based on customer requirements.
5. Productivity: The value added by the process divided by the value of the labor
and capital consumed.